The Carolina Hurricanes could not negate a three-goal deficit in a 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Andrei Svechnikov scored the lone goal of the evening for the Canes, who dropped their second in a row of the new year.
Here are five takeaways from Sunday evening in Raleigh.
Head coach Rod Brind'Amour circled around to one word a couple of times in his 100-second postgame press conference: disappointing.
"We were flat. It's tough to find someone who was really having a great game out of our group," he said. "Disappointing, for sure, but we haven't had really one of those all year. That's the first one for me where I can say I was disappointed in that."
The Hurricanes really didn't get much going until the third period, and by that point, it was too late. The Lightning had built a sizeable three-goal lead and were content sitting on it.
Video: Postgame Quotes: Jaccob Slavin
"They're a good team. We dug ourselves a hole we couldn't get out of," Jaccob Slavin said. "We've got to be ready to go on time and buy into what makes us successful for a full 60 minutes."
"We didn't play the first two periods. It cost us. We came out and weren't ready," Andrei Svechnikov said. "They were better than us, way faster and more physical. We didn't play our game."
2. An Early Hole
After beating the Ottawa Senators 5-3 on Saturday night, the Lightning had an early Sunday morning arrival in Raleigh. About 14 hours later, the puck dropped again.
The Canes, usually quick off the hop, weren't quite up to task from the drop of the puck while the Bolts, riding the vibes of a six-game winning streak, looked like the fresher team.
Mitchell Stephens put the Lightning up 1-0 just 2:36 into the game, and a little more than two minutes later, Steven Stamkos took advantage of a pair of questionable non-calls (icing, and then a hook) to double Tampa Bay's lead.
Video: CAR Recap: Svechnikov scores in Hurricanes' defeat
"We gave them everything to start the game," Slavin said. "It's just not something we can afford to do."
"They played a good game. Simple. They didn't beat themselves," Brind'Amour said. "They just stuck to what they needed to do and got ahead. They didn't press in the third; they just kind of hung back. It was a good game by them."
3. A Sleepy Second & A Better Third
As poor as the start was for the Hurricanes, the second period was arguably worse. The Lightning out-shot the Canes 17-5 in the middle frame, and Brayden Point roofed a backhand shot in the slot to make it a 3-0 game.
"We weren't ready to play," Brind'Amour said. "At the end of the day, there were two periods where we didn't do anything. Can't expect to win that way."
By the time the third period rolled around, the Lightning were comfortable with their position in the game and withstood a late push from the Canes.
"We had a semblance of a third period," Brind'Amour said. "It looked right, but they were up three and not really going after it."
4. Svechnikov Breaks the Shutout
Andrei Svechnikov scored the lone goal of the evening for the Hurricanes, breaking Andrei Vasilevskiy's shutout in the third period. The goal was made possible in part by Jaccob Slavin, who sent a gorgeous backhand feed across the ice from the far boards, right onto Svechnikov's stick. The Russian forward did the rest with a quick wrist shot that beat his countryman.
Video: TBL@CAR: Svechnikov rips shot off perfect pass
"I took a look back over my shoulder and saw Svech coming. I just tried to throw it in an area for him," Slavin said. "Obviously, he made a great shot."
Svechnikov also attempted The Svech in the third period, as he lifted the puck onto his blade from behind the net. The Bolts' defense was quick to sniff it out, though, with both Erik Cernak and Braydon Coburn getting sticks on Svechnikov's.
"I stopped behind the net and was like, 'Why not? I should try that,'" Svechnikov said. "There were two D on the side, so it was hard to do that move."
5. On the Rise
A crowd of 18,015 was on hand for this Sunday evening match-up, marking the sixth straight home game with a crowd larger than 18,000. The Hurricanes have amassed six sellouts, including a string of three straight prior to tonight, an increase of 23.4% from this point a season ago.
Through four games of this season-long, seven-game homestand, the Canes are 2-2-0.
The Hurricanes host the Philadelphia Flyers in a Metropolitan Division match-up on Tuesday.
"We've got to get our minds back the right way and get back to our game," Slavin said.